Observers fear this starved polar bear may be conclusive proof that climate change is wiping out the species.
The carcass of the male bear, believed to have starved to death, has been discovered washed up in Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean.
Experts say low sea-ice levels caused by climate change meant the bear couldn’t hunt seals, forcing it to unsuccessfully search more than 150 miles for food.
Climate change is said to have reduced sea ice in the Arctic region to record lows and is “absolutely, categorically and without question” the reason why polar bears are dying out, according to Dr. Ian Stirling of Polar Bears International, who has studied the giant carnivores in the region for 40 years.
The bear had no fat, and had been reduced to little more than skin and bones, indicating its normal hunting behavior had been drastically disrupted.
In April, researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute were said to have captured and examined the bear in the south of Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of Norway. It appeared healthy at the time.
In July, scientists discovered the bear’s carcass in the northern part of the archipelago, 150 miles from where it has been spotted and captured in previous years—meaning it traveled a significant distance for food.
Research published in May found size and breeding success of polar bears was being directly affected by an absence of sea ice, meaning the animals had to spend more time on land as the ocean took longer to ice over.
Only 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears are thought to remain. Eight out of the known 19 species of the bear are said to be in decline.
In 2012 sea-ice levels in the Arctic dropped to their lowest, and the sea ice break around Svalbard earlier this year happened quicker and faster than in previous years.
Although some dispute the effects of climate change on sea ice, Douglas Richardson, from the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie, told The Guardian: “This particular polar bear is the latest bit of evidence of the impact of climate change,” and ice loss is “absolutely, categorically and without question” the cause of falling polar bear populations.
Jeff Flocken, from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, says climate change may not be completely to blame for polar bear population declines, blaming the commercial trade of polar bear parts in Canada as being a factor.
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Salvador Dalí Illustrates “Alice in Wonderland”
Alice in Wonderland was written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. It was first published in 1865 and has been illustrated by many different artists. The most famous artist to lend his talents was that of Salvador Dalí.
He completed a total of thirteen illustrations, one for each chapter of the book, and one original signed etching in 4 colors as the frontpiece. This edition was published by New York’s Maecenas Press-Random House in 1969 and distributed as their book of the month. The volume went on to become one of the most sought after Dalí suites of all time.
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These stunning beautiful close-up photos were taken by David Chambon, a French photographer. He captured amazing moments with a macro lens when water droplets from the morning were still clinging onto the insects.